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4mm Coupler
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How It Works

Isometric projection of the Dingham Autocoupler




Price UK Pounds

Dingham Autocoupler Kit, 4mm
Parts to equip 20 vehicles



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The Dingham Autocoupler was developed for use on Lofthouse-in- Nidderdale, the 0 Gauge layout of the Skipton and District Railway Society.  Following considerable development work, a new 4mm version of the coupler is now available. Although both versions use the same principle of operation and look similar, the 4mm coupler is not merely a scaled-down version of the 7mm. It is, in fact, an entirely new design, developed specifically for 4mm layouts in 00, EM or P4/S4.

     Every train that runs on Lofthouse is shunted in public view for one reason or another. Goods trains have brake vans attached or detached, banking engines are attached to the rear of up trains and pilot locos are detached from double-headed down trains. There is also a daily pick-up goods in the timetable. Finally, passenger locos are run round trains and non-passenger vehicles, such as horseboxes and fitted cattle wagons are set down or picked up from the yard.

     Lofthouse needed reliable and unobtrusive auto-couplers and we could find nothing on the market that satisfied all our requirements. So – no alternative but to develop a coupler that did -- the Dingham Autocoupler.

     The coupler uses a latch and loop system and is intended primarily for single-ended use – i.e. the loop is always on the right-hand end of stock and the latch on the left, or vice versa. However, on layouts where locos are turned, it may be possible to fit locos with a latch and a loop at each end, so enabling automatic coupling and uncoupling whichever way locos are facing.   

The Dingham Autocoupler’s unique combination of features 


Quick and easy to fit to new or existing stock – the Dingham Autocoupler mounts through the existing coupler slot on the buffer beam, or a hole can be drilled in the beam and hidden behind one of the drawgear endplates supplied on the etch. 


Reliable in operation – the geometry of the Dingham Autocoupler has been carefully worked out to ensure that it is self-jigging in assembly and is virtually 100% reliable in operation.

bulletEasy to set up – the vertical adjustment of the Dingham Autocoupler almost takes care of itself by virtue of its fitting in the existing coupler slot. In any case, the coupler is fairly tolerant of deviations from the ideal height. Longitudinally, the coupler is self-jigging for stock with buffer lengths of 1ft 6in (unfitted wagons) or 1ft 8˝in (most locos, fitted wagons and many coaches). 
bulletRobust – when stock is put back in the box, the only vulnerable part of the coupler – the loop – flips upwards out of the way and is protected by the buffers.
bulletFully compatible with scale 3-link and screw couplings – an essential feature for club layouts running members’ stock or home layouts running visiting vehicles.
bullet Electromagnetic operation with latching mechanism – the hinged loop and latch mechanism of the Dingham Autocoupler means that, once uncoupled, it stays uncoupled until the operator wants to couple up again. This means that only one electromagnet is required for a fan of sidings and also provides – 
bulletAbility to uncouple vehicles at will in a moving train – as a train is propelled over the electromagnet, wagons can be uncoupled at will whilst the train is on the move. No more having to stop over the magnet and then perform an unprototypical back and forth shuffle to uncouple and place a fixed loop on top of a fixed latch.
bulletUnobtrusive – the latched hook is only slightly larger than the prototype. The loop is etched as thinly as possible consistent with adequate strength.
bulletTo find out more – look at How the Coupler Works and Instructions for 4mm Autocoupler.

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